You see a beautiful pair of ridiculously expensive shoes in a shop window and you think how wonderful it would be to have them. For just an instant you see yourself in those shoes and feel like a million dollars. All to quickly, a voice in your head tears that idea to shreds. You can’t afford them. They are ridiculous. When would you wear them? To afford those shoes, you’d need a different life, or so you think. Because you can’t ‘see your way’ to affording the shoes, you sadly conclude the shoes will never be yours and turn away.
In the same way we can look at what we think is involved in getting more sales and conclude that getting enough sales is just out of reach for our business. It looks as if getting more sales is going to need a whole host of things to change, things we feel are out of our hands or at least difficult. Such as:-
- An upturn in the economy
- A better website
- More exposure
- People appreciating what we do
- Less competition
- More chimney pots
- Lower rates
- Better weather
- More hours in the day
- More marketing skills
- More digital skills
- Getting on Twitter or Instagram or another social media platform
- Better advertising
- Better labelling
- Better signage
What else is on your list?
Take a moment to jot down all the things you think need to change in order to create more sales.
Now let’s take a closer look at what is going on here. By believing that all those external factors are dictating your level of sales you have overlooked a crucial factor.
Your own thinking.
While undoubtedly working on some of those areas may see an increase in your sales, if you only ever look on the outside, working in your business is going to be a bit of a slog. You will have little control. Like a ship tossed about on the waves in stormy weather, you will just deal with whatever seems to be coming at you, without any strong sense of purpose.
What could you do differently?
When you look at enterprises with healthy sales and profits, they all have something in common. It’s not the amazing websites or impressive user engagement on social media (though they may have), it’s the buzz about their business. There is a feeling you get when you engage with that business as a customer or even as a fan on social media sites. That feeling is one of fun, confidence and excitement. It’s genuine. It’s infectious.
Where does it come from?
It comes from the inside out. That’s right. It doesn’t come from the website or the Facebook page or a buoyant economy. It comes from within the people that run the business. At core it is an openness, immersion and joy in doing business that is not dependent on the weather, the number of hits on the website or the number of sales made. It comes from a deep engagement with what the business offers.
You probably had that when you first went into business, but maybe it has evaporated and you find yourself working all the hours and yet not achieving the sales you want.
Take another moment now and remember what it felt like in the early days of your business. Capture that feeling of excitement and possibility you had when you thought about your business. Bring into your awareness that sense of bringing something to the world. Something that would enhance your and your customers life in some way.
Just rest in that feeling for a while. Close your eyes.
In that place, everything seemed possible. The journey ahead looked exciting. You were fully engaged with what you were trying to do.
To create sales in an enterprise, you need to be coming from that place of engagement.
The good news is, you don’t have to pretend or fake it ’til you make it
That place is available to us when we allow our thinking to settle down. Your thoughts about the external factors that you see as responsible for sales, create stress, pressure and a sinking feeling.
Look past those external factors and see that it is not the factors themselves but your thinking about them that causes stress and discomfort.
Let your thinking settle down
When you let your thinking settle down, you come to a much clearer place from where it becomes obvious what you need to do and what you don’t need to worry about.
For example, if you feel stressed about getting more orders or clients, it would be easy to sit down and write a sales email that sounds, well, a bit desperate. That’s the feeling you are in. If you can settle down, look past the desperation, you will find, new thoughts arise about the next step to take. That might be picking up the phone, writing an article, attending a networking event, writing a product review, doing some further training, hiring a web developer. Whatever it is, it will be a step you take with confidence.
You may be thinking, ‘it’s all very well to say there’s no need to get stressed, but with Brexit and all the uncertainty, I can see it having a negative impact on sales’. If you think your falling sales are coming from problems out there, then yes you will feel uncomfortable. Like the unaffordable shoes you may well just throw up your hands and stay in a place that feels horrible. Yet we all know, if you took the idea of owning those shoes away and just settled down about it, a way to buy those shoes would eventually occur to you.
It might take time. You might not pursue it, but an idea would occur. In the same way, when we realise our thinking about external factors is getting in the way of good ideas to actually make sales, then we can settle down, let that original enthusiasm for our business bubble up once again and from that place, the next step will be obvious.
If you’d like a coaching call to help you get more sales, please email me to book a time.